Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Barack Obama Disses Pigs (Repost from August 24, 2013)

To mark the occasion of Barack Obama's veto of the Keystone Pipeline bill we republish ....

How could you elect this man? I mean, we know that he knows about pigs. He called Sarah Palin one. Didn't he?

Barack Obama has never had a real job -- a job that designs, locates, extracts, processes, manufactures, finishes, repairs and/or maintains products or assets of value. It's not only that he hasn't dirtied his hands or worked up a sweat from anything more strenuous than elocution, it is that his prep school background and Ivy League education never gave Obama an honest view of how value is produced and the economy works. But others of us are not so encumbered. We can detect his BS. (In my case I worked in a cardboard box factory, a culvert factory and a plastics factory, I was a caddie, a dishwasher and a janitor, all before I received a fancy pants law degree). Those in the know understand that virtually every economically driven business relationship and set of producers relies on webs of suppliers and partners, which while mostly invisible to the ultimate customer, are essential in the value chain that drives the economy and serves us all.

From his background of inexperience and ignorance Obama makes false claims like the Keystone XL pipeline will produce only dozens of jobs -- a claim that he emphasized in his New York Times interview with a smug, arrogant chuckle. We blogged earlier this year on the absurdity of Obama's left wing, kill-affordable-energy-at-any-cost claims, referencing government data documenting hundreds of thousand of jobs supported by the pipeline industry. We looked at Obama's ridiculous claims from the perspective of a relation employed as a pipeline controller. Constructing, monitoring, operating, feeding, maintaining and repairing pipelines is not a simple store front enterprise. The companies that own and operate the pipelines day-to-day are but a fractional part of the the industry. Let us explain further.

Pipeline Pigs
The reference company website Rigzone.com lists 55 companies alone under its oil and gas pipeline "pigging" category. Pigging is the process of inserting a pressure driven station (referred to as a pig because back in the day the original pigs squealed as they traveled down the pipelines) into a pipeline to perform a range of tasks including, cleaning, detecting corrosion, measuring thickness, detecting cracks and weld defects, and flushing pipeline contents, as the pig flows along.  Pigs are are also used as barriers to separate different fluids (such as crude from different oil fields) flowing through pipeline systems.  In Barack Obama's world pigs not only don't fly, they don't exist.  There is no design, manufacturing, engineering and pigging service workforce even though they are an essential part of every modern day pipeline operation.

Rigzone.com lists 145 pipeline contractors, companies engaged in manufacturing pipelines and components, and in building, inspecting and maintaining pipelines. These are companies that re-mediate pipeline spills and upgrade pipeline safety with protective liners. These are companies that weld, build and maintain pumps, and clean and map pipelines. Work in these areas counts for nil in Obama's contorted calculus. 

Cups and Discs for
Pipeline Pigs
There are 42 companies that specialize in pipeline plugging and repair, activities which are inevitably required to maintain pipeline integrity and protect the environment, once pipelines are built. Imagine building a road and forgetting about it. Cracks develop. Potholes develop and grow, and the surface begins to disintegrate, leading to the creation of ruts and a waffleboard surface. Eventually the road is so bad the roadbed is abandoned and allowed to return to its natural state by erosion, corrosion and invasive plant growth. The same principle applies to pipelines. Continuous investment is needed to maintain operability. In the world of Obama, the tooth fairy does this work.

The FERC and CFTC Chairmen sign a pact to create
even more jobs for lawyers.
My God, even the lawyers get in on the act. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the interstate transportation of oil and gas, including the rates and practices of pipeline companies engaged in interstate transportation, establishing equal service conditions for pipeline transportation and establishing reasonable rates for transporting petroleum and petroleum products by pipeline. Washington, DC is crawling with FERC lawyers and FERC consultants. I would at least have thought that JD Barack would have caught on to the employment opportunities that pipelines afford to his highbrow lawyer and consultant pals.

An even larger impact ignored by Obama is the crude oil production and refining.  For oil to have value it needs to be transported and processed into usable form. The Keystone XL pipeline design has a 100,000 barrel a day on ramp in Montana.  At today's crude prices that is $10,000,000 a day of domestic cash flow.  No jobs associated with that eh, at least if you listen to Obama. 

We'll leave it there for now. You have elected an economic ignoramus. If only it weren't so.

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